Lifted from comments cactus style, by k harris.
A public infrastructure spending binge is likely to require lots of petroleum products. This is not a deadly criticism, but is is an issue that could produce a lot of “leakage”. We could offset that, either concurrently or subsequently. Spending a ton of money modernizing the interstate system while leaving commuter rail on the fringes is a good way to consume oil now, and consume oil later.
If we are admitting that we jigger the economy to produce the results we want, then we can stop putting up with the argument we have to accommodate cars because people like cars. We can stop pretending that the choice to live in a massive home that sucks up lots of heating and cooling and requires lots of (publicly protected) credit is a purely personal decision. Let’s stop putting up with claims that “private” economic outcomes are the result of personal virtue so shouldn’t be “burdened” with taxes. If we are in the business of jiggering outcomes, then let’s stop listening to arguments predicated on the badness of public intervention or the goodness of personal preferences.
k harris Email 08.20.08 – 11:52 am #
Rdan here: Personal preference pre-occupation in the economic circles I have been in seems to have altered theory. It used to be production and such, didn’t it? What descriptors should be used now in this world, not the world of Reagan or Clinton???